Monday, July 24, 2017

Ed Saiedi Drops in from Stockholm

Ed Saiedi called from Kamloops and said he was in the area.
Could he drop in with his mother and brother?

And so here the four of us are:  Ed, Arta, Reza and Shayesteh.

I didn't know which of the views of the Shuswap to capture.
Here is a shot just as the sun is going down.
We are checking out the view looking west.

And here is a severely flawed picture.
But what we were trying to capture is the camper that Connor put on a half ton.
Then he would drive to Kelowna for the week, taking courses and sleeping in his trailer.
And then back to Salmon Arm for the weekend.
When I look at the camper I think of Emily Carr going to the forest
and living there amongst nature while she painted.
Though blurred, I am in this pic with Reza and Shayesteh.
The pic was taken for Mak.  I don't know if it was a nanny-nanny boo boo, look how good things can be?
Or just a friendly "wish you were here, Mak and don't you wish this were your life?"
And now down to brass tacks and no making jokes.

I had a wonderful time walking the property with the three Saiedi's.

We went past the last of the s'more parties the Bates house.

They had just been having a S-more Cook-Off.  Who can cook the most creative s'more? The challenge is to continue on the August long weekend.  The perfectly roasted marshmallow meeting the somewhat warmed Cadbury milk chocolate square.  Or alternatively meeting a square that is both minted and chocolate -- depending on one's taste.

I heard that Greg has made a request.

While s'mores are being cooked, would it be possible for no one to put their hands on the doorknobs of the house: obviously seventeen people cooking and tasting marshmallows, all of whom seem to go into the house at some point.  If the chocolate and the marshmallow that is on their cheeks and chins and upper-lips is also transferred to their hands and then the doorknobs, I can see that someone might have to be assigned to just stand at the door handles with a warm cloth, cleaning them off after each entry into the house.

Too late to write anymore tonight.  I will return to this tomorrow.

Arta

Jarvis Vacation - Our Sunday in Paris

Our Sunday in Paris

We attended the Merri ward where we met up with our friends Ana Carina and Timothy Fratta.  They were previously members of the Montreal Ward, but moved to Italy about 3 years ago.  Meeting up with them in Paris was a real treat.


Here are the Jarvis-Fratta kids in front of the Stravinky Fountain between Centre Pompidou and the Church of St Merri.  From Wikipedia you can read that this fountain is "ornamented with the16 works of sculpture, moving and spraying water, representing the works of the composer Igorn Stravinksy. It was created in 1983 by sculptors Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle."  The kids are cute too.  They are 7 works of art that move incessantly and spray interesting conversations wherever they go.  They were created at various times and represent the work of Tim and Ana Carina Fratta and Eric and Catherine Jarvis.
 😊







This photo of the kids was taken after our picnic lunch on the steps of St Merri.
 The food has been put away, but you can still see them huddling around a few bags of cookies.



Here are the visitors that arrived just seconds after the children left the steps to watch a flash mob that had formed on the square.  Amazing that the crumbs of our lunch would attrack such a crowd.



The kids watched a dance flash mob that performed for at least 10-15 minutes on the oppoiste site of the Stravinksy Fountain.  At the end of the performance, a red carpet was rolled out and one of the members of the dance crew proposed to his girlfriend.  There was much celebrating with the finale being that the newly engaged couple were thrown into the fountain.

After that we headed for Paris plage and a walk along the Seine.  Here is Timothy trying out one of several exercise bikes that are set up along the Seine.  If you pedal fast enough, you can recharge your cellphone.  



Not to be outdone, Ana Carina gave it a spin too.



Ana Carina was successful at finding 11 beach chairs along the Paris plage.  Count them - 11.  She is a super star when it comes to scouting out opportunities.  We sat under the large beach umbrellas and enjoyed some interesting conversation ranging from artificial intelligence to the kids potential careers--computer programmer, writer, criminal lawyer, etc



A selfie of me!  My kids laugh at all my selfies, but I rarely get in any photos unless I take one of myself.


The kids wanted to check out the Tour de France.  It was the final day of the race with the finale being a few laps around the Champs-Elysées.  This isn't a photo of a French stop-light, despite what you might think.  I was trying to get a photo of the fly-by that happened just as the racers took their first spin around Champs-Elysées, near the Louvre.  Beautiful blue white and red stripes across the sky.



This was my view of the Tour de France.  The police had set up a barricade to prevent people from getting too close to this corner of the Champs-Elysées right where it meets the Louvre.  The kids headed into the crowds along the Seine, but it was no place for Hebe.  She sat on the sidewalk under my feet, playing on the ipad while I snapped this photo of the riders racing by from a bit of a distance.  You can actually see the racers between the police cars if you look really hard.
We came home and ended the night by making up a pot of beef stroganoff. Yum. The delicious meal wasn't the end of the day unfortunately, since we had to do a serious post meal clean-up.

The kids are now on post-gustation clean-up duty since we discovered that the apartment is infested with cockroaches.

That was a unpleasant and disappointing surprise, but what is a trip through Europe for the Jarvis family without a few unexpected surprises. There will be no more leaving food on the counters and the crumbs on the floor will need to be swept up after every meal.

I'm glad we have a three day stopover in Iceland on the way home. I'm hoping that any cockroaches that stow away in our luggage, disembark in Iceland during the stop-over. I'm not planning to go home with uninvited guests.

 😞

C

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Simple Pleasures






In an email today my son-in-law, Eric, reminded me that he likes to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

I am able to do that to excess.

For example, instead of enjoying one raspberry from the bushes at the top of the road, I made a meal of the fruit that was on the vine this morning.   I literally stripped the bushes.

Breakfast = one pint of raspberries.

I saw the dogwood at the end of the raspberry bushes.

The flowers have now turned to a clump of berries with a beautiful turquoise colour.

I have been wondering if I should cut the lower branches of the tree, so that children who run past the rock and down by the stream would have a clearer path.

Which is more fun: to duck under a branch or to fly down the path unhindered by leaves and berries?

The third simple pleasure of the morning happened when I was out looking at Lot 10 with Marcia and Glen. 

He pointed out some bear scat.

Then I saw a broken fruit tree and wondered if it was last night’s wind that had done the damage. 

“Probably the bear going up the tree for fruit,” he said.

That is when I recognized the third simple pleasure: being with someone who can put bear scat and broken tree limbs into the same equation.

And that is also when I decided to take his offer of a bear bell to tie on my wrist when I walk the paths alone.

Arta

Jarvis Holiday - Half the Fun is Getting There

Half the fun is getting there ...  and getting set up.
A short note in photos of our travel day or "How we got from Prague to Paris"

All packed up from our apartment in Prague, we headed into the metro for a trip along the yellow line to Zličin.  From there on a bus to the airport.  Here we are in the metro, bags and all.  We try to travel light, so everyone only gets one suitcase.  Hebe and I share one so that each adult only has one bag to pull.  Everyone gets one knapsack on their back.  At the airport, we always try to guess who packed the lightest suitcase. The scale never indicates that I win, but at least I keep within the weight limits.


Lunch.  Sandwich extraordinaire made by Catie.  She used up the last bit of sandwich meat, cheese, bread, tomatoes and cucumbers from our fridge in Prague to make delicious sandwiches for lunch on our travel day.  We had to prepare our own lunch today beause we we're flying with Czech Airlines.  It is a budget airline.  Thus, the food and drinks are only for purchase during the flight. Sadly, they don't even provide a free soft drink to  the weary masses.  This airline is probably the worst I have ever flown in regards to leg room.  My knees were literally touching the seat in front of me, and that was before the man in front of me decided to put his chair all the way back.  It kind of felt like having someone lie in your lap during the flight.  Thank heavens the flight was only 1h40min.  



We couldn't go back home from our shopping trip before stopping at the local bakery for a fresh baguette or two.  We might have also purchased a few croissants and a pain au chocolat which didn't make it home for a photograph.  Such is life in Paris.

Since Prague doesn't use the Euro, we need to get rid of our Czech Kroner before leaving the airport.  We spent the last paper bills on a meal in a restaurant our last night in Prague so only have coins left to spend.  Eric and I pool our coins to find that we have 91 Kroner (about 5 dollars).  Enough for a Twix bar and a small bag of Candy for the kids to share.

Arriving in Paris kind of feels like coming home.  We are staying in the same apartment that we rented during Eric's sabbatical so getting there on the metro was old hat...excpet for the fact that the RER line C to Ave Henri Martin is under construction for the month of July and we didn't learn that until we had already gone to Station St Michel to change lines.  Back on another line and then yet another transfer finally found us at Rue de la Pompe and the exit to our apartment.  Ahh  Paris!  Getting there is half the fun, and the other half is getting set up in a new place.  A quick trip to a brand new grocery store in our neighbourhood (17th arrondisement) found us hauling home this cart full of treats.  Favourites local treats include Carambar toffee, Créma candies, favourite juices, apricot compote, yogurt, fruit  and a roasted chicken for dinner.


"Buckle up for safety."  Hebe with Joey and Joey Jr getting strapped into her seat for take off.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jarvis Holiday - The Matching Game

So here is a little game to play.  Try to guess which Parisien treat was purchased for which member of our family.  Five treats.  Five Jarvii - Eric, Catie, Thomas, Rebecca and Hebe

ANSWERS
Box of Macron = Hebe.  Hebe has been dying to eat Macrons in Paris.  She has been talking about it for weeks.  Yesterday she helped me pick out this small box of  Macrons. Her favourite was the raspberry flavoured one.  If you want to learn how to make Macron Cookies, check out this website.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2-7Hjzyl5o  Too much work for me, but you never know.  Maybe we will try it when we get back to Montreal.   After watching this video I understand why each Macrons cost 1 euro. Labour intensive treat.

Croissant = Rebecca.  It's a classic and her favourite

Pain au chocolat = Catie, although she chose a croissant the first night in Paris

Pain au chocolat = Thomas

TArtelette au pomme = Eric.  
His favourite however is an abricotine but there were none left when I arrived at the patisserie yesterday.

We spent yesterday holed up in our apartment.  Everyone had their fill of computer/internet time and sleep.  In the evening we finally left the apartment for a family walk to La Tour Eiffel.  It is just 15 minutes from our apartment.  Last time we were here Hebe didn't have a chance to take the classic "I'm holding up the Eiffel Tower" picture.  She made sure to get a photo this time.  Even Joey, her stuffed monkey got into the photo.

Here is a family selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower during the 10 p.m. light show.  Eric and I moved our family quickly through the crowds of people and tried to head to a more open spot under the trees on Trocadero.  It feels less safe/more at risk to be in Paris this trip, so heading for crowded public spaces doesn't seem like the best idea.  There is, as always, security around the Eiffel Tower, but because of all the recent terrorist attacks across Europe, heading for places that are a bit off the beaten path seems prudent.

Ahhhh.  Paris.  
The city of love and lights.
Hebe saw a playground to her left after I took this photo.  She headed straight for it and played until the sun set.  
Catie, Thomas and Rebecca joined her on the playground equipment.  After Hebe spent 5 minutes on a merry-go-round in the park, she came over and crawled into my lap.  "I don't feel good."  Motion sickness at it's best.  We headed for home and gratefully she didn't loose her lunch.  We arrived home near 11 pm to call it a night.

Lunch at the Bates' House

There are 17 people at the Bates house right now.  I stopped in at lunchtime.

Lunch for the Children
The macaroni and cheese looks great in that fuchsia bowl!
Looks like stainless steel makes a good serving bowl.

Lunch for the Adults
Mexican Stuffed Tomatoes
I was drop-jawed when I saw this.
Do people really eat this way on vacation?

I stopped by Moiya's after I had seen lunch at Wyona's house.

Moiya had made cinnamon buns, orange glazed buns and an orange icing swirl bun.

A big wow to both homes!



One Foot in the Mud


Tonight seems to be so far away from this morning. I don’t feel that the two points are connected in any way. In between there was a long walk, orange-glazed buns at Moiya's, haunting the local thrift shop, finding more flour on sale at Save-On-Foods ($6.99 for 20 lbs), eating a Chapman’s double chocolate ice-ream bar with Zoe, playing Sherriff of Nottingham with David Camps, and finishing the evening at a soirée with Wyona, Glen and Moiya.
Greg has been seen moving this dirt
for many days now.

In the morning, I thought I was going to walk the property with Marcia, calling out “bear, bear” as we chatted our steps away. I had forgotten that this morning Greg was going to show us where there has been a mini-mud slide off of Lot 12. There had been rain at 6:30 am and again a sprinkling of it just before 7 a.m. That didn’t stop Greg, Marcia, Ceilidh and me from walking down the Bates’path that is lined with mini-sweet peas and toward the route that would take us to the place where the Robertson Stream crosses the footpath that leads to the meadow.

Greg stepped into the stream to show us where the culvert was. The water was pure, running clean and clear. The culvert was plugged. Somehow Greg lost his footing. His foot sunk mind calf into silt. He leaned backward to stabilize himself and pulled his foot out, but he was far less dry when he became sure footed again.

Not to have us miss out on the fun ahead, he kept going forward. I could feel the slosh, slosh every time his right foot hit the ground. “These were my best boots.” That is all he said as he lead us through the meadow to look at the culvert there – it will be a major job to take the deadfall and roots out of that culvert. In fact, the water has found a way around it.

Two points in the path that we walked were exquisitely beautiful. One was a tree that had fallen over the path, but the bole was so high that we could walk under it. “No use cutting that one with a chain saw. It is so stunning there,” he said.

The other magnificent spot was at a steep climb. Greg paused to show us a fallen Douglas fir that stretch breathtakingly upward toward the highway. Oohs and ahhs at its length. He told us that the hole it left when it fell was so large that he thought the path was ruined and that we wouldn’t be able to use it again. Glen came up with his chain saw to see if there was anything that could be done. Glen cut off the root and when it fell, the stump fell back into its original place, making it safe now to take that path and filling the biggest hole you ever saw. For years people will be stopping at that spot, pointing to the repair job and explaining about the clever way that the path was fixed.

The sun was reflecting through the trees and sparkling as it refracted through the dew on the ferns. I was breathless with the beauty around me. I was also full of gratitude to Greg and Glen for maintaining the path. I wonder if there will be a statue some day, erect to honour them – one man with a chain saw and the other with a shovel.

Greg said that the caption on this picutres
should read
Don't Buy the Wrong Kind of Dirt
We were on a verdant pathway through virgin forest where every step seemed to produce a different picture. I was mad that I left my camera at home.

Marcia had to get home to work. We took the easier path to return, one along the railroad track, but even the track caused us to stop and wonder. The pile of grain on the ties reminded me of the literature I have been reading – more bears are being hit by trains because the bears come to eat the grain that falls off as the train travels along and drops it. I don’t know how to measure how much was there – cups and cups for we bent down to the mound of grain and ran our fingers through it. Marcia remembered how she had tried to chew grain as a child, for she had been told if she did it would turn to gum. She never could get it to taste like Hubba Bubba.

The next pile of grain had been there a long time, and was just beginning to sprout. There was that starchy smell of wet grain. Greg was telling how some Canadian alcohol is made from fermented grain mash -- remarking that this looked like it was well on its way to that.

Ceilidh letting me take a pic for my phone contacts.
I am going to try texting her more, now that we
are spending so much time together.
I do not know how her parents had the courage to part with her.
We dropped Marcia off at 4,500 steps. I felt as though we had travelled miles and miles by then.

But that didn’t stop Ceilidh and me from travelling down to the beach where the Pillings had planted a willow.

We were not only surprised by its growth, but by the logs that have been beached there and surround it now.

I showed Ceilidh how to return home by using the path by the stream that runs by my house.

She says that the next time she leaves home, she is wearing different footwear.  She left, thinking she was going fishing with Uncle Art and instead ended up on our hike with us.  Not a good place for flip-flops.

And that is the story of my lovely morning.

Arta

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Souvlaki at the Pillings


A couple of days ago I sat at the Pilling’s table watching Glen cut up a leg of lamb for souvlaki. Janet and Laynie were preparing the marinade at the kitchen counter. “Come over for supper on Wednesday,” Laynie said.

So with that invitation, David, Ceilidh and I arrived at their house at 7 pm tonight. Piper and Landon ate with us – we listened to Greek folk tunes, we wrapped the lamb in the pita bread, we drank Kombucha (the new wonder drink), we plated up Greek salad and we sat in the warm evening wind and watched the dark clouds gather as the evening went on.

“What is your favourite part of the lake,” said Glen, “starting from youngest to oldest." Ceilidh was quick to say family. Just family. The lake is where she feels the essence of family.

Laynie said it is the memories that mean so much to her.

“Acceptance,” said Janet. “This is where I feel acceptance.”

“Private,” said Glen.

“That is important to you,” said someone else.

“It is the privacy of family – extended family. I don’t mean my own privacy. What I like is that the spaces are not public – that we don’t have waves of car after car going past.”

I was last. “It’s cyclical nature. That is what I like. The same experiences recur again and again. I wait for that.”

The evening closed with ice-cream: double chocolate; raspberry cheesecake; maple walnut or frozen blueberry yogurt.

“We are not the ice-cream parlour that you will find next door,” said Glen.

It felt like it to me.

Arta

Jarvis Travels - Last Day in Prague


We are sitting in the Prague airport getting ready to fly to Paris.
Here is a brief update in photos of our last day in Prague

On the train to Kutna Hora - medieval silver mining town.

The other half of us on the train to Kutna Hora.
The link below is a really fun blog to check out if you want to learn about Kutna Hora.
On the blog is a short cartoon about the history of this town and some of the highlights of the things you can see. 

St Barbara's Cathedral.  
Quite magnificent with it's tent steeples.  There are a ton of windows in this cathedral so it is just filled with light.  This was our first stop. Thomas led us here quite by accident initially, although it was on his list of things to see.  He was the planner of this day and got us organized for the transportation there and back, and the itinerary.

Hebe and Catherine take a break and enjoy a chimney stack filled with ice cream.  We stayed outside for some ipad time while Eric took the teenagers into the silver mines.  That tour was 1.5 hours underground.

Here is another picutre of St Barbara's cathedral from below. 
Hebe toured me around the tiny streets as my tour guide.  
She loved that.

Coming out of the mines!  Hard hats off and coats in hand to keep everyone warm and dry. 


A coat of arms made of bones.  Check out the detail, especially the bird pecking out someone's eye.  At least the the artist had a sense of humour.

ARRRR matey!

Heading home for a dinner out in Prague.  Travelling makes one tired.

Cabbage soup with a spoonful of sour cream.  Delicious.


Hebe opted for chicken soup with dumplings.  
She loves soup and was not disappointed.  
Thomas and Rebecca ate fruit filled perogies. They were also delicious.  
Eric wanted one last plat of golash with bread dumplings.  

Stains

I dressed up to go to dinner tonight at the Bates'.  Ceilidh and I were invited to have pulled pork sandwiches and a 7 layer Mexican salad (known as a five hour salad as well, for that is how long it took to chop the ingredients and assemble the salad).

On the way there, I stopped to pick some raspberries from the bushes on the top of my lot.  A nice appetizer.

Along the road I stopped to put some thimble berries in my mouth, being aware of the difference in the taste between the two berries.

When I got to Wyona's she gave me a clean wet cloth to wipe the pink stains from the white facing on the front of my shirt.

What!

Can't a person even stop to pick a few berries without leaving traces of them on her clothing?

Arta

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Fire Bowl

"What will we be eating at Wyona's party tomorrow?"

That is the last question Landon Hicks asked his mother last night.  You know, the last question a child asks a parent, and then one last question after that, and then a final drink of water.  Well his last question was looking forward to another day of exquisite fun.

Summer holidays seems to mean that there will be a party with food on the lot next door for him.  Or lots of kids to play with.  He won't be disappointed for Jamie and Trent with four more kids will be arriving on Wednesday.

He is partially right about the constant happiness around a fire, for Greg bought a firebowl, an easier way to roast weiners than to make a regular fire, and a method that is well within the fire regulations.

Wyona may try to cancel the parties, but they get organized out from under her -- Gabe calling everyone for one of the events. Theresa making sure that any kids walking by, get an invitation to come right in for more fun.  At my house, Ceilidh was wondering if we should take over more hot dogs or marshmallows, incase the Bates run out.

Not only do they not run out of food, they have the best of everything -- the highest quality hot dog, and mint arrow chocolate bars to use on the s'more's.

I got an 8:30 pm call last night to join them around the fire.  The chairs sometimes have to be 2 deep in the circle.

The firebowl has some things about it that aren't quite right.  I keep waiting for the coals to die down so that the embers will be just right for perfect roasting.  With this unit, the embers never die down.

And what about the person with the stick who likes to poke the fire, just as it gets to be just right?

Or the person who throws a log on, just one more for the night.  Both of those jobs no longer exist.

Still, buying one might be on my list, since Moiya has already purchased hers.

Fun to be had everywhere by all.

Arta

Monday, July 17, 2017

Warm Cherries

July 17, 2017

Someone put a ladder under the cherry trees on lot 5.  Not just one ladder, but a number of ladders.

I am trying not to climb ladders, but the idea of eating warm cherries hanging from the branch can only rival the taste of those that are taken cold from the fridge.

The ones I was tasting from the tree had the flavour of cherries jubilee. Warm and delicious.

Nothing like cherries flambed!

Arta

On Seeing the Sunnybrae Slide

July 16, 2017

A morning walk with a companion is more fun and safer as well. I don’t have to yell “go bear, go” quite as often when I walk with someone else. Glen says if two people are walking and one is talking, the bear will be as frightened as I would be on contact. So Marcia and I set out to walk on Sunday morning. She was wearing Art’s shoes, having lost one of her own. I was wearing a pair of runners to which I say on every wearing, “This is your last time on my feet. I am going to get new runners”. We didn’t know we were headed for a walk that would require better footwear.

Glen joined us half way down Bernie road. At the rate he was going, I thought he was trying to catch up with someone who was walking ahead of us, but no, he was just joining us … for good health’s sake.

Glen was right.  
I couldn't get a good picture of this.  
In the first place, the sky is in whiteout mode
and can only be imagined.
But dead centre in the picture is a straight line, 
the beginning of the rock side.
Then the slide veers to the right, coming all
of the way down the hill and covering a home.
Picture taken from TRC at the end of the passing lane.
which is the path where the mud slide began.

“Do you want to see where the slide was that killed the 75 year old man?”, he asked. I had previously suggested to Marcia that we check this spot out, Glen having said it is just passed the passing lane as you enter the Trans-Canada going west. I wasn’t sure of the exact spot. She gave the idea a pass. But now that we had someone to show us the spot, off we went down the highway, which I quickly discovered was not down. That passing lane is uphill all of the way – much longer when a person is walking it than driving it.

At an appropriate break in the trees Glen took us to the north side of the highway and began to show us how the slide had happened: a few rocks starting to fall at the top of Bastion Mountain, and gaining momentum and picking up other debris on the way down each gorge until at the base of the mountain it found the easiest path – down a man’s driveway and over his house.

Marcia and I were sobered as the three of us remembered that lot 12 has had 6 feet taken off of its gorge on the west side – not that a slide is immanent, but in the course of time no one knows where the next rockslide will occur.

On the way home we stopped to look at a fallen stand of Douglas fir. Glen said that anyone can collect wood that has fallen, but there has to be no green branches on the trunks of the trees. Forestry regulations. The boles that Glen scrambled over stood the test – the branches were yellowed and the wood could have been bucked up. Someone had been there before us, taking the easiest pieces, but a chain and a truck could have worked and produced some wonderful wood for the winter.

Glen had just had a truckload delivered -- $750 for a load. That will be the cost of the winter heat. That is why people in BC burn wood for fuel.

On the way home Glen hopped over cement barriers and then back – checking for flat places in the forest, ones where logging could be done. I guess a forester's work is never done.

As well he stopped to point out beautiful stands of trees, showing us specimens that don’t usually grow at our elevation, one where we usually see Douglas fir and larch.

On the way home my fitbit buzzed that we had already done 10,000 steps – my goal for the day, but on that Sunday?

I ended up with 17,000 steps.

Good for me.

Good for my heart.

And time to get a better pair of runners.

Arta

Jarvis Holiday - Sunday

Sabbath
July 16, 2017


 Outside the church building in Prague.  The small miracle was getting to church late and being locked out, yet still getting the sacrament.  Luckily for us, the man passing the sacrament to the mothers in the hallway saw us, came over to opened the door and let us in, and then gave us the sacrament.  



An illuminated manuscript and St Wenceslas Crown inside the palace treasury.  Seeing the ancient manuscripts makes one consider the value of books.  Feeling lucky to live in a time when books are so readily available. 


  1. The  Changing of the Guards at the palace.  This was the one thing on Hebe's bucket list for the day. We were able to catch it at 5 p.m, just before the palace closed down for the day.

The crown was a site to see and the size of the gems rivals any of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

A view of St Vitus Cathedral from the Palace Gardens.

Walked to the Prague Palace Gardens after church since it is just a few blocks from the church building.  Ate lunch in the park.  Hebe happily found a swing in a nearby tree and hoped on for a ride.

Rebecca's bucket list - visit the small staircase leading up to the palace.  We also walked the royal route down from the palace and back towards the Charles Bridge.

Sore feet and exhausted children were what we had when we finally hit the Vtlava River